Tel-A-Ride  Services

Details on eligibility, how to schedule a ride, fares, personal care attendants, and more.

Tel-A-Ride Services

The Tel-A-Ride service area has been set up to meet the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandated levels; it is available during the same hours and within a ¾ mile corridor on either side of current fixed-route bus lines. Tel-A-Ride services all of the Charleston Peninsula, as well as portions of James Island, West Ashley, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, and North Charleston. For more information, please call (843) 747-0007.

There are no restrictions on trip purposes. You may use Tel-A-Ride to travel anywhere in the service area. Many of our riders use the service to go to the mall, the hairdresser, to visit friends, and so much more!

  • Eligibility


    In order to be eligible for Tel-A-Ride, you must have a specific impairment which restricts your mobility. Persons who cannot use public transit vehicles, person who cannot travel without assistance, and persons with mobility impairments that prevent them from traveling to or from a bus stop are all examples of eligible applicants. Persons interested in applying for Tel-A-Ride service may call, (843) 747-0007, to request an application.

    All Tel-A-Ride applications are reviewed by the ADA Eligibility Specialist manager. The ADA Specialist will determine whether an applicant is eligible for the service, based on guidelines established by the Americans with Disabilities Act, within 21 days of application. For more information, please call (843) 747-0007.

    If you are eligible for Tel-A-Ride, you will receive a letter notifying you that your application has been approved and to come to our office to get your Tel-A-Ride Photo Identification Card. Once you have received your card, you may begin to use the service.*

    * The Tel-A-Ride Photo ID card must be shown each and every time the service is used.


    Appeal Process

    Any individual who has been determined as ineligible for Tel-A-Ride may file an appeal with CARTA within 60 days of notice of ineligibility. Appeals will be heard by at least three members of CARTA’s ADA Advisory Committee.

    Please forward all appeals to:

    CARTA
    1362 McMillan Avenue - Suite 100
    North Charleston, SC 29405

  • Scheduling a Ride


    To schedule a ride, you must call the Tel-A-Ride office at 843-747-0007 and make a reservation. Return trips must be scheduled when you make your initial reservation.

    If you are traveling to a medical appointment, you may call Tel-A-Ride when you are ready to return home. If you choose to call for a return, please remember that you could wait as long as two or more hours to be picked up if the van is not in the area.

    Seating

    If seating is available, Tel-A-Ride will make every possible effort to schedule your trip when you request it. In the event there is no opening at the requested time, a pickup within one hour of your requested time will be provided on a space-available basis.

    Reservations

    Tel-A-Ride accepts reservations up to 14 days in advance of a scheduled trip. At a minimum, passengers must make their reservations no later than the day before the desired day of travel.

    Due to limited space, it is suggested that reservations be made as soon as possible.

    Reservations can be made by calling the Tel-A-Ride office at (843) 747-0007. Reservation hours are from 8AM to 5PM Monday – Sunday. A Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) is available and can also be accessed by dialing 711.

    You must notify Tel-A-Ride of any change in destination at least 90 minutes before your pickup time, not when you board the vehicle. Unless properly notified, Tel-A-Ride will not transport you to a destination other than the destination that you originally requested. If at all possible, Tel-A-Ride will accommodate the change.

    Missed Trip

    If you miss a scheduled trip, it will be recorded that you missed your scheduled trip. If you miss a scheduled trip and did not cancel the trip beforehand you are considered a “No-Show.” If you cancel your trip on the day you are scheduled to travel, less than 2 hours in advance, you are considered a “Late Cancellation.” A pattern or practice of late cancellations may result in a suspension of service. Canceling a trip when the vehicle is at your door is considered a No-Show. No-Shows and Late Cancellations are a disservice to other Tel-A-Ride patrons and should be avoided. Continued failure to cancel unwanted scheduled trips may result in suspension of service. Tel-A-Ride may suspend service to any individual who establishes a pattern or practice of No-Shows in accordance with CARTA’s Service Suspension Policy. Please refer to the Tel-A-Ride Cancellation Policy.

    Routine Travel

    Individuals who have routine travel requirements such as school, work, regular medical appointments, etc., may apply for subscription service. With subscription service, you are not required to call each time to schedule these regular trips unless your travel arrangements change. A limited number of subscription applications will be accepted on a first-come-first served basis.

  • Fares


    The fare for Tel-A-Ride is determined by a Zone structure based off simulated trips on regular fixed route service using the origin and destination points. The fare for Tel-A-Ride is $4.00 for each one-way trip and $5.00 if the trip is outside the driving zone. The fare must be paid when you board the vehicle. Only exact fare will be accepted.

    The following is an example of how the Zone structure is determined using the regular fixed route service (the passenger will remain on one vehicle for the entire one-way trip and will not be required to transfer vehicles).

    Zone determination example: If a trip from origination to destination can be completed using one fixed route within ¾ mile of the fixed route, it is considered a “Zone Trip” on Tel-A-Ride and is a $4.00 fare. If, however, a trip from origination to destination would require two or more regular fixed route buses to complete the trip (including the ¾ mile distance around the routes), it is considered an “Out of Zone Trip” on Tel-A-Ride and is a $5.00 fare.

    Trip tickets are available by mail or can be purchased in person at the Tel-A-Ride office. If you wish to receive your tickets by mail, you will need to send a check or money order plus shipping and handling costs. All tickets will be sent by certified mail requiring a signature. Please call (843) 747-0007 for more information.

  • Curb-to-Curb Service


    Curb-to-curb service means that it is the rider’s responsibility to meet the driver at the curb. As a safety precaution, drivers are required to stay with their vehicles and passengers. Drivers may assist you in and out of the vehicle, but they cannot assist into a residence or destination point. In other words, the drivers cannot assist you up and down steps or ramps, and under no circumstances are drivers permitted to enter a passenger’s residence.

    You are responsible for being ready and at the curb 15 minutes before your scheduled pickup time. Tel-A-Ride vans are considered on time if they arrive 15 minutes prior to or 15 minutes after the scheduled pickup time. The Tel-A-Ride van will wait only five minutes after arriving at your pickup location

  • Personal Care Attendant


    If you require the assistance of another person to complete your trip, a personal care attendant may accompany you on Tel-A-Ride at no charge. You must indicate the need for a personal care attendant when you apply for Tel-A-Ride. For scheduling purposes, you must also indicate if you need an assistant and that an attendant will need to travel with you when you make your reservation. Attendants may not travel alone or be picked up or dropped off at any other location than that of the eligible client.

    If you are being accompanied by someone whose presence is not required to complete your trip, that person is considered a companion and he or she must pay the full Tel-A-Ride fare. One companion may travel with you on a space-available basis. You must indicate that a companion will be traveling with you when you call for a reservation. Companions may not travel alone or be picked up or dropped off at any other location than that of the eligible client.

  • Miscellaneous


    Bags

    Due to space limitations, Tel-A-Ride passengers are permitted to carry up to four bags or packages on Tel-A-Ride vehicles.

    Children

    A dependent child may travel with a certified Tel-A-Ride patron on a space-available basis. Children age six (6) or under will be permitted to travel with a parent, free of charge. Children over the age of six (6) will be required to pay the $4.00 or $5.00 fare. Parents are responsible for providing child restraint seats for children aged three (3) and under. Any child not riding in a car seat must sit on the seat of the vehicle and use a seat belt. Children may not be held on an adult’s lap.

    (Note: While children may be certified to use Tel-A-Ride, children under the age of ten (10) will not be permitted to travel unaccompanied by an adult. This applies to all trip purposes, except for school trips where a child must demonstrate that they would be able to use public transit independently, if not prevented by their disability.)

    Animals

    Only service animals are permitted to travel with Tel-A-Ride passengers.

    Seat Belts

    For your safety, passengers are required to use seat belts and wheelchair-restraining devices at all times. The driver will assist passengers with seat belts and will secure wheelchairs using a four-point tie down. The driver will not operate the vehicle unless all passengers are properly secured.

    Smoking

    Smoking, eating, and drinking are not permitted on Tel-A-Ride vehicles.

    Suspension

    Service may be denied to any rider who violates the rights of other passengers using the service. This includes violent, illegal, or disruptive behavior that may threaten the safety of Tel-A-Ride personnel or other passengers. Service may also suspended if a rider demonstrates a pattern of being a “no-show.” Riders will not be penalized for events or circumstances out of their control.

    Visiting Charleston

    A visitor to the Charleston area may use Tel-A-Ride if he or she is certified by another transit system, or is found to be eligible for the service here in Charleston. Likewise, a Tel-A-Ride patron may be eligible for similar service in other cities. Your Tel-A-Ride identification card will certify your eligibility for paratransit service in Charleston.

  • Compliment or Complaint


    Please forward all complaints and compliments to:

    CARTA CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER
    3664 Leeds Avenue
    Charleston, SC 29405
    Phone: 843-724-7420
    TDD: 711
    www.ridecarta.com

    Please include your name, address, phone number, the date of your trip, and a description of the incident (where applicable).

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